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What money in China - the Chinese yuan -
- Exchange rates, interesting facts and advice to tourists

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China's currency has many features, and some of them put inexperienced tourists at a dead end. On this page we will tell you a lot of interesting and useful information about money in China.

What are Chinese money called?

The currency of the PRC is called "Chinese Yuan". The international currency designation is CNY. The very Chinese word "yuan" is translated into Russian as "something round" or "round."

However, in modern Chinese, the word "yuan" means money in general. That is, the Chinese themselves often call our Russian ruble as the "Russian yuan", the US dollar as an "American yuan", and the euro as a "European yuan".

The second name for Chinese money is Renminbi, which can be translated into Russian as "people's money", abbreviated to RMB. The abbreviations of CNY and RMB are actually synonyms. In banks you can see any of them.

The difference between RMB and CNY is that RMB is a common currency name, and CNY is the name of the base unit. Most states call them the same, for example, the "Russian ruble" is both the name of the currency and the name of the base unit at the same time. But it rarely happens that they do not coincide. For example, the currency is called the "New Taiwan Dollar", and the base unit is the "Taiwan Dollar". The Chinese currency is the most famous example of such a mismatch.

On the price tags in restaurants and shops you can see six different variants of designation, and they will all show the price in Chinese currency.

By the way, since we started talking about Taiwan. Remember that yuan is not accepted in Taiwan, in Hong Kong and Macau. Hong Kong has its own local currency, the Hong Kong dollar, although officially Hong Kong has recently become a full-fledged part of the PRC. In Macau, the situation is similar - here uses its own currency, "pataka". Taiwan in general is a completely independent state with its own currency "Taiwan dollar".

Exchange rates

Officially, the Chinese Yuan is freely traded on the stock exchange. In fact, the PRC government controls its course, using it as an instrument to control its economy. For tourists such a situation has its positive aspects, since the course very rarely experiences great fluctuations.

Current RMB exchange rates:

Exchange rates for: January 24, 2013

1 Chinese yuan = 8.848 Russian rubles
1 Chinese yuan = 0.157 US dollars
1 Chinese yuan = 0.127 euros

1 Russian ruble = 0.113 yuan
1 US dollar = 6.370 yuan
1 euro = 7.887 yuan

What is the Chinese yuan divided into?

In the Chinese currency, the scheme 1-10-10 is applied, which is unusual. The classical principle is 1-100, for example, 1 ruble = 100 kopecks or 1 dollar = 100 cents. There are exceptions, for example, the Tunisian dinar according to the scheme 1-1000 or the Chinese currency according to the scheme 1-10-10.

1 yuan is equal to 10 yao (or else called jiao). The name of this Asian currency unit in Russian can be translated as "angle". This name is used in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

1 yao (jiao) is equal to 10 fenyam. The word "fen" has a lot of translation options, and most often this word means "a small part of something" or "one tenth".

What kind of money to take to China with a tourist

On a trip to China, it is better to take dollars or euros. They are easy to exchange at a favorable rate, and some merchants accept them for payment, although this is prohibited by law.

Some tourists try to buy a yuan in Russia and already with them to go to China. This is unreasonable. First, even in Moscow, it is very difficult to find the Chinese currency. Secondly, even if you find cash yuan, the exchange rate will be very unprofitable. From this rule there are exceptions - these are some areas of our country bordering China, where it is easier to find a yuan than dollars.

And the most stupid idea that visits the minds of some tourists is to take Russian rubles with you. Usually, this idea comes to Russians after reading the news with sonorous headlines: "Russia and China will forget about the US dollar" or "We switch to mutual settlements in rubles with the PRC."

Then, these poor people come to China and understand that Russian rubles are not needed by anyone, and it is almost impossible to exchange them. Of course, eventually they find a bank where they can be changed, but the rate is such that tears can not be dispensed with.

However, there are also exceptions to this rule. In the Yabaolu market in Beijing, many traders accept Russian rubles. But before this market you still need to get there, and Beijing's metro and taxi drivers in China accept only the Chinese currency.

Exchange of money in China

First of all, we advise not to change the currency at the airport exchange offices. There, or the rate is unprofitable, or take an additional commission.

If you, for example, are going to go from the airport by taxi, do not change money there, but politely ask the taxi driver to make a stop near the bank or change money at the hotel immediately after arrival, and then pay the driver.

If you are coming from Beijing airport by metro or from Shanghai airport by train Maglev , then, of course, you will have to change, you can not get anywhere.

Remember the important point. After exchanging dollars for yuan in the bank, keep the exchange document. It will be needed in case the yuan remains, and you will need to change them back to dollars.

Where and how to profitably exchange currency in China, we on this page will not tell, since we have a separate article about this. Read our page " Where and how to profitably change the currency in China ."

How much money to take on a trip to China

We considered this topic in detail. Read the page " How much money to take to China ".

Interesting Facts

The maximum denomination of Chinese money is 100 yuan. This is a small denomination, if to compare, for example, with the Russian ruble. It's hard to be rich in China, and in the literal sense of this phrase. To make major purchases, the Chinese have "bricks" of money.

We asked a lot from our Chinese friends about why the PRC government does not introduce banknotes of greater denomination. There is no unanimous opinion.

There is an assumption that this is a measure against corruption, since it is inconvenient to give bribes in small denominations. The second assumption is that in this way the authorities restrain inflation. The third version, that the issue of new banknotes of great denomination will cause hatred of the poorest layers of the population, and the authorities do not want it.

The smallest unit - "fen" exists in China only officially. In fact, you will not find these coins in circulation. If you collect coins, you can get a fake. To do this, change the money in the Bank of China, where the rate is not rounded, and you always get a pair of these coins in your hands.


Now in circulation are banknotes of the fifth series of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 Chinese yuan. On all banknotes, a large portrait of Mao Zedong is depicted, which supports his status as the most famous Chinese . However, you can see it personally, visiting the mausoleum of Mao Zedong in Beijing in Tiananmen Square .

Also in circulation are still banknotes of the previous fourth series. You can find notes 1 and 5 yao and 2 yuan. Be careful, there are cases that such bills sellers issue for the delivery of credulous tourists. That is, instead of 5 yuan for the change try to give 5 yao.

Remember that on banknotes 1 and 5 yao there is no portrait of Mao Zedong! In addition, they are usually very dilapidated, since their release ended back in 1997.


The variety of coins is small. It is surprising that there is no image of Mao Zedong on the coins. On coins in general, there are no political images.

The most popular coin is 1 yuan with a picture of chrysanthemum. Coin 5 yao depicts a lotus flower. On coin 1 yao an orchid is depicted.

Coins of the Fenya are very small, and they depict the coat of arms of the PRC on the front side and the denomination on the rear. They are made of aluminum, and you can bend the coin 5 with your bare hands.

Successful communication with Chinese money, and read our articles about "the Celestial Country" ( links below ).

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Where do you take the cross-rate 1 euro to the Chinese yuan in the Bank of China (as you recommended)? But today I was in the branch of this bank in HunChun, and there was a rate of 1 euro-6.9 yuan, and you indicated 1 euro-7,154 yuan ????
Alexander - GlavRed site

Dear Alexander,

And why did you decide that the rate published on this page is the rate of the Bank of China ??????

It's just an official course! And think for yourself, if it were the exchange rate of the bank, then the CIGR would be TWO!

Naturally, the exchange rate differs from the official one - the purchase is slightly less, the sale is slightly larger.

Thank you very much for the interesting articles about the sights of Beijing !!!!! My family and I have been living in Beijing for a year now. Before we go to see interesting places, we read with pleasure on the site !!!!!

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